Canadian Forest Service Publications

Forest cover, environmental quality, and economic well-being: are they related? 2003. Wang, S. Page 285 in Proceedings of the XII World Forestry Congress, September 21-28, 2003, Quebec, Canada. Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome, Italy, Vol. C - People and Forests in Harmony, Co-published by Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, and the Government of Quebec.

Year: 2003

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 23833

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

Mark record


The theory of the Environmental Kuznets Curve contends that a U-shaped relationship exists between environmental quality and economic development. This paper examines two questions: (1) Is forest cover a meaningful benchmark indicator of environmental quality? (2) Is forest cover related to income levels? Findings reveal that forests serve as an important indicator of the soundness of the natural environment, but the correlation between forest cover and economic well-being measured by per capita GDP is tenuous, based on a statistical analysis of cross-country data. The discrepancy between theory and empirical evidence is explored, with a pointer to other important factors worthy of further investigation.